The most popular question being asked at the moment on radio, podcasts, and social media is who will be the Eagles’ next head coach?
My answer: Mike Kafka.
This is the Eagles’ target.
It took until Day Four to realize it and the realization was helped along by an interview process that looks like it was more to do with the Eagles just doing their due diligence and appeasing their fan base more than anything else.
Robert Saleh came and went to the Jets.
Arthur Smith came and went to the Falcons.
Joe Brady came and looks like he is headed back to Carolina for a second season as the Panthers’ offensive coordinator.
Maybe Brian Daboll will come after the Bills are done playing but he is expected to go to the Chargers.
Dan Campbell never had a chance to come in for an interview because the Lions look ready to snap him up once the Saints are done playing.
Eric Bieniemy appears ticketed for the Texans once Kansas City is done playing. Even if he doesn't, how could the Eagles pick Bieniemy over Duce Staley, who interviewed on Friday afternoon with Lurie and his search party?
Lincoln Riley is. The Oklahoma coach hasn’t come out publicly and stated his desire to return to Norman, but he really doesn’t have to do that. The Eagles know how he feels privately, and maybe they are still trying to identify common ground to make him Doug Pederson’s successor.
It’s a longshot, but perhaps a Hail Mary completion is still to come.
Staley is also left, and every player who ever played is seemingly endorsing his candidacy.
My pick would be Staley, make him the CEO of the roster and bring in an offensive coordinator with full autonomy to call plays, and have a big role in shaping the game plan. Then bring in a strong defensive coordinator. Maybe that would be Jerod Mayo, the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots who was also interviewed on Friday.
Here are the current odds from www.SportsBettingDime.com as of Friday afternoon to be the next Eagles coach:
Eric Bieniemy 3/1
Lincoln Riley 7/2
Brian Daboll 8/1
Todd Bowles 10/1
Mike Kafka 12/1
Adam Gase 24/1
There isn’t much smoke yet surrounding Ohio State’s Ryan Day or Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell. Not yet anyway.
We should have seen this coming based on what Lurie told us earlier in the week.
“There will be no rush here,” said Lurie. “This notion of an NFL team making a very important decision for itself and its fan base and rushing to a decision is unlike any in business, and I just don't think that's warranted.
“If we find a head coach soon or it's early February, it's totally great. If we're the last team picking a head coach, that's great, too, because then you have all the opportunity in the world. There's no rush. There's no pressure. There's nothing that should drive you from a decision based on just rational thought and careful analysis and getting to know the person as best you can.”
He had no intention of hiring the popular candidates.
Judgment was clouded a bit, in thinking that yeah, maybe he would. After all, Kafka couldn’t really be the choice, could he?
It would be underwhelming but who's to say right now it wouldn't pan out. Nobody thought Pederson would and look at what happened in 2017.
At 33, Kafka is still feeling his way in the coaching business. He’s been a quarterback coach for just three seasons in Kansas City, including 2020. Passing game coordinator was added to his title this year, and yes, he worked with Patrick Mahomes the last three years, but Kafka, really? Another branch sprouting from the Andy Reid coaching tree?
Lurie just can’t seem to sever his ties with Reid, who he hated having to fire after the 2012 season following a 14-year run with Lurie and Philadelphia.
The owner wanted to interview Kafka last year for the offensive coordinator job but Reid blocked it
Reid can't block Kafka now, not for a promotion to be head coach, and it is Kafka who looks very much like the head coach Lurie wants.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of EagleMaven. Check out anything you may have missed pertaining to the Eagles by going to www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.